On Friday, April 13th, we spent a very fun afternoon at The Quilt Crossing stitching and solving a few of the world’s problems during my “Quilting With Your Walking Foot I” class.
The ladies stitched together their placemats (the pattern is included with my class) and auditioned several different quilting designs that they will use to complete their placemats. It was a wonderful group and they were all very excited to put their walking feet to work. I can’t wait to see some of their finished projects!
In addition several ladies signed up for my upcoming “Quilting With Your Walking Foot II” class, and I look forward to seeing them again then.
It’s hard to believe that summer is almost here. Where does the time go? The month of April whizzed by with so many birthdays and fun events. Now it’s time to think about summer…
I’m particularly excited that College of Idaho has asked me to teach quilting classes again this year as part of their Community Learning – Summer 2016 program.
We will be offering the same classes that I taught last year, including:
Beginner Strip Quilt Class
Intermediate Paper Piecing Pinwheel Class
Advanced Log Cabin Wonder Class
We had such a good time last year and I’m really excited to once again teach in the beautiful Shannon Lounge in the Kathryn Albertson International Center. I mentioned our facilities when I first saw them last year and they were just perfect for sewing and quilting. Parking is very convenient as well, making it easy to navigate supplies, etc. to the classroom.
In the Beginner Strip Quilt Class last year, we had a fun group of sewists including:
There were a two sets of mother and daughters who had a great class taking the class together. It was fun to see them work together on their color schemes as well as layout of their fabrics.
The pattern we use for this class is very versatile and allowed the ladies to choose between a baby or twin size finished quilt.
We had several room dividers that doubled as a perfect design wall where students could audition and lay out their fabric to develop their final quilt color scheme.
Of course, part of the fun of taking a quilting class is meeting new people who share a lot of common interests, which was certainly the case in this class.
It was difficult to say farewell to this class as we really did have a great time sewing together and their finished quilts really were lovely.
If you are interested in this year’s class, please visit the College of Idaho website for the Beginner Strip Quilt Class that is being held on June 1st and 15th this year.
Spinning Windmills Paper Piecing Class
The paper piecing class is designed for students who have previous quilting experience and want to learn paper piecing.
It was exciting to see these projects come together in so many unique looks from the same pattern.
It was also fun to see some familiar faces from the Beginner quilt class in the Spinning Windmills class. Once again, a very nice group of ladies who were excited to try new ideas and techniques as they built their spinning windmills quilt blocks.
It’s hard to believe that we have completed our first ever quilting class at College of Idaho. It was so much fun and I had a great group of delightful ladies who completed their quilt tops with much enthusiasm.
It was so much fun to work with everyone as they constructed their strip quilts. For some, it was their very first time ever at a sewing machine and for others, it had just been awhile since they had worked on a sewing project. Irregardless, they all were so excited to be there working together towards a common goal. The majority of the quilts were made as gifts for other people, which was very special indeed.
There were 2 mother/daughter teams who worked on quilts together. It was fun to watch them share ideas and opinions as their tops evolved.
We spent a lot of time reviewing the fundamentals of quilt making and during the final class the students created their own custom binding and learned how to bind a quilt with mitered corners.
There was also plenty of time to visit and get to know one another.
As well as time to be creative and explore new ideas…
For the last class, the College of Idaho Newsletter asked to visit the class and interview some of the students. We were asked to wear our purple t-shirts. Justine Daime, a staff photographer, took several photos and some of them are included in this blog post (Thanks, Justine). If you would like to read the newsletter article, you can do so at this link to the College of Idaho Newsletter.
The class was also proud to share their completed quilt tops as you can see below…
This pattern is so much fun to make because each and every quilt has its own personality. Letitia and Lindsey even began the class using the same jelly rolls, but their quilt tops were very unique because of their unique layouts and choices for borders and bindings.
The room and facilities at the College of Idaho were wonderful. We had lots of space to work on our projects and enjoyed the incredible light in the Shannon Library. It really was a wonderful class and best of all, everyone seemed to have a genuinely good time.
I am so very proud of my students’ accomplishments and really enjoyed working with each and every one of them. It was a privilege to have this opportunity and I’m looking forward to my next paper piecing class that begins next Monday, July 20th. If you would like more information about this class, you can read more about it at the Summer Program page.
I hope you are enjoying your summer and would love to hear about any sewing projects you have been working on.
I designed a special quilt for our granddaughter, Eloise. At the same time, I developed a pattern for this quilt as you may recall in an earlier blog, introducing the Princess and the Pea pattern.
After I made the original sample for the pattern, I created another one, just for Eloise. I changed the second quilt and used a variation suggested in the pattern. Instead of bias trim for the vine that winds around the quilt’s border, I used a large rickrack.
I’m very pleased to share that last night I gave Eloise her quilt and she was delighted and could not wait to put it on her bed. The first thing she wanted to do, of course, was to find the pea!
For the last several weeks, whenever we were together, she would ask about the status of her quilt.
I was committed to finishing this quilt as it was made especially for her and had some unique features. First of all, her mommy, Alecia, had asked me to make the quilt using fabric with the 1930’s vintage look. I also had to incorporate Eloise’s favorite color, purple and began collecting fabrics and rummaged through my stash to come up with a good collection for her quilt. I also used rickrack for the vine that twists around the border of the quilt. I love the bit of whimsy that this added to the quilt. I found a darling background print with little purple flowers that served as the perfect backdrop for the princess’ bed. It was so much fun to see this quilt come together and watch as the anticipation built from Eloise.
She was particularly tickled when I added the crown with her name on it and she loved to search for the little pea under the bottom mattress when the quilt was on my design wall.
Once the top was finished, I had it quilted by Yvette Ebaugh, who did an incredible job on my original Princess and the Pea quilt. Once again, she did a beautiful job as you can see in the following pictures…
Finally, I made the label for Eloise’s quilt. I always consider this the finishing touch for a quilt because it tells a bit of a story of the quilt, as in who it was made for and when, etc.
I’m so pleased to have this quilt finished and tickled that Eloise loves it. That’s what really makes it all worthwhile.
What quilt projects have you been working on? I would love to hear about them.
Note: If you would like to make your own Princess and the Pea quilt, it is available as a pattern that can be purchased locally at the Quilt Crossing or online at Craftsy.
In April, 2007, we took an amazing two week trip to China to visit Andy and Alecia. To commemorate our visit, I made a quilt that I gave to them as a Thank You gift.
When we arrived, it was my birthday, so Alecia greeted me at the airport with beautiful flowers and also surprised me with a lovely birthday cake when we arrived at their apartment. It was very thoughtful. The best gift of all was seeing her and Andy!
While we were in China, we spent time in Shanghai, where Andy and Alecia were living.
It was quite a change from their home in the North End in Boise as you can see…
We also toured Beijing and climbed the Great Wall and saw the Ming tombs.
We attended Kung Fu theatre and the Peking Opera. So many sites to see and we hiked into the Forbidden City, Tinanmen Square and the Summer Palace.
Of course, there was some shopping at the pearl, jade, cloisonné and fabric markets.
We also visited the water town of Suzhou…
and hiked through the Administrator’s Garden.
It was an incredible trip and when I made their quilt, I found fabric that reminded me of some of the birds we saw in the Administrator’s Garden. The pattern I used for the quilt was called BQ from Maple Island quilts.
After the quilting, the finishing touch was the label that summarized our most excellent adventure!
It was a trip of a lifetime and we had so much fun. The best part of the trip was spending time with Alecia and Andy and seeing how well they had adapted to their new home in Shanghai. They were very comfortable in China and did a great job as guides during our visit.
Quilts are a great way to commemorate a significant event in our lives. What quilts have you made to help remember a special time or a special someone?
I hope you are enjoying this beautiful August weather.
March is Month 2 of the Stitcher’s Garden Block A Month that I started last month. The design for this month consisted of a large sunflower with 4 corner block designs.
Once again, you begin by quilting the background of the block first. This month I used a serpentine stitch to quilt the background. If you have a pattern begin feature on your sewing machine, use it when you start each line of stitching of your background as it will help to keep your stitches even. It is a good idea to practice on an extra piece of fabric so you can adjust your stitches the way you want them to look before you stitch on your block.
Once the background was complete, I fused the applique pieces for the sunflower onto the block and then stitched them with various decorative stitches. It’s fun to experiment with the different stitches your machine has as you can really get creative and come up with some great variations of your decorative stitches to use on your applique pieces.
The corner blocks are made by layering 2 circles of fabric and then cutting them into 4 equal pie shape pieces. Next, you applique each pie shape piece into the corners of the quilt block, stitching in place with another decorative stitch.
Once done, stitch on the outside border and voila… your block is finished!
It’s always fun to go to class and see what some of the other students have done. I love to see how they interpreted the block.
One of my favorite aspects of quilting is being able to make something special and relevant for those you love. Our youngest daughter, Anna Marie, always dreamed of being married barefoot on a beach. In February of 2009, that wish came true…
We had a wonderful stay in Fiji, and while we were there, I was impressed with all the beautiful colorful fabrics the natives wore. This inspired me to make a batik wedding quilt for Anna and Derik.
My first step was to gather the batiks I had collected and determine a pattern to use for the quilt.
I based my quilt on a pattern by Blue Underground called Mod Quads. Since it only measured 40″ x 60″, I enlarged the pattern and created my own template for this quilt in my Electric Quilt software.
Each block had at least two fabrics and I wanted to make it appear that the color of one block bled into the adjacent block. In order to insure an accurate color match, I scanned each batik fabric and imported these fabric scans into my Electric Quilt Software. This enaabled me to “paint” that scan into the final template I created for the quilt as you can see in the following picture.
The EQ Template I created became a valuable guide for me as I began to construct the quilt. Since I ended up with over 60 different batiks, it was important to organize my fabric pieces so I could begin to build the blocks, insuring I was pairing up the correct colors and pieces in order to achieve the final look I wanted.
As I began to cut the strips and pieces, I laid them out in pairs…
Next, it was time to stitch each of the blocks. I used a method called chain piecing. In order to chain piece, stitch your first seam together and before you sew to the very end, line up the next pieces you want to stitch. Put these pieces right next to the current block you are stitching and when you finish stitching the first block, continue to sew right into the next block, without trimming the threads and thus, forming a chain.
It was very important to press each seam as I built the blocks. Then it was time to begin to lay out the blocks.
It was exciting to see the design build and finally come together. I used a portable flannel design board to help keep the blocks in place as I laid them out. It took a while to finish the final layout and then I was ready to join the rows of blocks together to complete the first stage of the quilt top.
Laying out the final blocks on the flannel board
Once the top was stitched together, I sewed together the back of the quilt.
When I make a large quilt, I usually hire it out to be quilted as it is challenging to manipulate so much fabric on a regular size machine. The machine quilter who has quilted both of our daughters’ wedding quilts is Ingrid Martin of Baywater Quilting (#208-455-7516). When you put so much love and effort into a quilt, you want to insure it is in good hands. Ingrid does amazing work.
It’s important to share with the machine quilter what your vision is for your finished quilt. In my case, I told her I wanted to capture the essence of Anna and Derik’s Fiji wedding. She understood and we agreed upon a free motion quilting pattern where she would combine waves and fire, reminiscent of the waves of the ocean and the celebratory bonfire on the beach the evening of the wedding. As I mentioned, Ingrid had also quilted Alecia and Andy’s wedding quilt and did a beautiful job (I’ll share in a future blog), so I was pleased to have her work on Anna’s as well.
Once Ingrid had completed the quilting, my next step was to finish off the binding on the quilt. I felt that it was important to contain the movement and bright colors of the quilt. One way I thought I could accomplish this was to add some batik piping in a bright color to the edge of the quilt, prior to attaching the binding.
Once the piping was made, then it was time to stitch it onto the quilt.
And then, the final step of adding the outside red binding, first with the machine…
And then by hand…
And, now the best part, giving the quilt to our daughter, Anna Marie, and her wonderful husband, Derik…
And seeing the smile on their faces… made it all worthwhile!
One way to get a larger project done is to break it down into smaller pieces/projects. That is one of the concepts I like about the “block a month” quilt projects.
Recenty, I joined the Stitcher’s Garden block a month “club” at my favorite quilt store, the Quilt Crossing. For the next 12 months, each student is given a pattern with some suggested ideas as to how to finish it. What is unique about this particular monthly block program is that it is designed to stretch your imagination and skill with your sewing machine. It really helps you to explore new stitches, different feet for your sewing machine and new ideas for quilting, etc.
Essentially, you begin with a blank piece of white muslin and use a bit of 505 adhesive spray to adhere it to an equal sized piece of batting. Then the fun begins! Each block is machine quilted in a myriad of ways. Once the background muslin piece is done, you begin to build you design with applique pieces that are first fused onto the quilt and then secured with various decorative stitches from your sewing machine. It literally feels like you are coloring, but with fabric and thread.
The first month, I pretty much followed the directions from the original designer, just to get the block completed and be ready for Month 2’s class. It’s amazing all the tips and tricks you learn as you go. In addition, I’m forcing myself to use my new Bernina 830 machine for this project, because I am less familiar with it than my other machines. It enbles me to take advantage of some of the newer features of the 830, which I really like and now that I’m more familiar with, will continue to use.
Each month I will publish my finished block. As you can see from the above picture, I’m using a collection of bright prints that also help me to usher in spring (I’m so ready for warmer weather…) In addition, Linda, the author of the Quilt Crossing’s blog, the Party Line is also in the class and is publishing tips and tricks as she completes her blocks.
The really fun part is when we meet each month and get to see each other’s interpretations of the blocks. I’ll include a few pics of those too.
Have you been involved in a block of the month project before? How did you like it – do you have a picture of your finished project? I’d love hear about it and see a picture.